FACTS AND STATS: Pole at last for Perez, while Bottas keeps Q3 streak going

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Sean Kelly
Perez - Saudi -

Qualifying in Jedddah was action-packed, with all sorts of shocks and surprises. The big one early up was Lewis Hamilton failing to make it out of Q1, but then Sergio Perez finally grabbing a pole position grabbed all the headlines. In between there was joy for Kevin Magnussen who reached Q3 yet again, but disappointment for Max Verstappen who struggled with his tyres when it mattered. Here are some of the most interesting facts and stats from qualifying in Saudi Arabia…

  • Red Bull Powertrains take their maiden F1 pole thanks to Sergio Perez.

  • Perez is the first Mexican driver to ever take pole position in Formula 1.

  • Perez’s first pole in his 215th race weekend is a new record for the longest career before taking pole, beating Mark Webber’s 130 races.

READ MORE: Perez edges out Ferraris for sensational maiden pole position in Saudi Arabia qualifying

  • This is only the second time Perez has out-qualified Max Verstappen in a straight battle since he joined Red Bull, the other being Imola last year.

  • Charles Leclerc has only started second once before, in Japan in 2019.

JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA - MARCH 26: Second placed qualifier Charles Leclerc of Monaco and Ferrari (R)

Leclerc lines up second - a position he hasn't occupied too often in his F1 career to date

  • Carlos Sainz starts third for the second consecutive weekend.

  • Verstappen’s P4 is his worst Q3 performance since Monza 2020 when he qualified fifth.

  • Esteban Ocon’s fifth matches his best performance of 2021, when he qualified P5 in Spain.

  • As George Russell finished P6, that means both he and Perez have out-qualified their team mates in Jeddah.

READ MORE: Hamilton vows to 'give it everything' after shock Q1 exit in Saudi Arabian GP qualifying

  • Russell was also the only driver in a Mercedes-powered car to make Q3, and he only made it by 0.034s.

  • Valtteri Bottas was eighth, as Alfa Romeo reached Q3 in Jeddah for the second year running.

  • That also moves the Finn to 103 consecutive Q3 appearances.

JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA - MARCH 26: Valtteri Bottas of Finland driving the (77) Alfa Romeo F1 C42

Bottas kept his run of Q3 appearances going in Jeddah with a solid P8

  • Kevin Magnussen made Q3, the first time he has had back to back top 10s since Monaco – Canada in 2019.

  • Both McLaren cars qualified higher than they managed last weekend.

  • Lewis Hamilton’s last Q1 elimination was Brazil 2017, when he crashed out.

  • The last time Hamilton was knocked out on pure pace (rather than due to wet weather or grid penalties) was Silverstone back in 2009.

  • Lance Stroll was the first Aston Martin driver to make Q2 this season, which was also his first Q2 in Saudi Arabia.

  • The slowest five cars to set a lap time in Q1 were powered by Mercedes.

HIGHLIGHTS: Watch as Sergio Perez makes history in qualifying for the Saudi Arabian GP


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